Legg Mason Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (LM)

Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) saw unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Traders acquired 1,105 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 1,549% compared to the average daily volume of 67 call options.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on LM shares. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Legg Mason from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $37.00 to $36.00 in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $49.00 target price on shares of Legg Mason and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Legg Mason from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on shares of Legg Mason from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Deutsche Bank began coverage on shares of Legg Mason in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $44.00 price target for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $43.90.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LM. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in Legg Mason by 10.1% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,193 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 294 shares in the last quarter. QCM Cayman Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Legg Mason during the second quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Gotham Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Legg Mason during the second quarter valued at approximately $212,000. Institute for Wealth Management LLC. bought a new position in shares of Legg Mason during the second quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Legg Mason during the third quarter valued at approximately $224,000. 82.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) opened at $43.74 on Friday. Legg Mason has a one year low of $30.81 and a one year high of $43.76. The stock has a market cap of $4,020.00, a PE ratio of 17.09, a P/E/G ratio of 1.02 and a beta of 2.27. The company has a quick ratio of 1.79, a current ratio of 2.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The asset manager reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.10. Legg Mason had a net margin of 8.46% and a return on equity of 7.16%. The company had revenue of $768.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $739.47 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.63 earnings per share. Legg Mason’s revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Legg Mason will post 2.94 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 20th will be paid a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.56%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 19th. Legg Mason’s payout ratio is currently 43.75%.

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About Legg Mason

Legg Mason, Inc is a holding company. The Company and its subsidiaries are principally engaged in providing asset management and related financial services to individuals, institutions, corporations and municipalities. The Company operates through Global Asset Management segment. Global Asset Management provides investment advisory services to institutional and individual clients and to the Company-sponsored investment funds.

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